Accounting Convergence

1153 Words Nov 10th, 2010 5 Pages
Accounting Convergence: Advantages and Disadvantages

Winston Churchill once said that “there is nothing wrong with change, if it is in the right direction” (Thinkexist.com) . Today, the accounting profession and standards in the United States is facing one of the biggest changes it has seen in a long time: the convergence of its Generally Accepted Accounting Principles (GAAP) to the International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS). Is this a step in the right direction for the United States? The debate is still alive, although the change is happening now. In this paper I will explain the convergence and then describe some of the advantages and disadvantages to this change. Convergence is a term that means “the coming together or
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GAAP has been around for many more years than IFRS has. Is this an advantage or disadvantage for a move towards IFRS? Some people would argue that it is a disadvantage because the U.S. GAAP covers almost all possible accounting issues and has also shown sustainability through its years in practice. On the other side, the advantage to having a newer set of standards is that they will not be as cluttered as the U.S. GAAP. But doesn’t the word “convergence” mean to eliminate the differences between the two standards? So we would be blending the best of both sets of standards and both of these arguments would be illogical, right? That brings us to another debate about the convergence with IFRS. If the business world would flow better with one set of accounting standards, why are we trying to blend the two accounting standards instead of just adopting IFRS? If over 100 countries and counting have switched to IFRS, why can’t the U.S. do the same so that one set of standards will really be attained? According to Intermediate Accounting, some of the standards between U.S. GAAP and IFRS that differ and are long-term projects for convergence are issues such as revenue recognition, the conceptual framework, and research and development costs (18). All of these issues are currently being worked on between the International Accounting Standards Board (IASB) and the Financial Accounting Standards Board (FASB). An advantage to the conceptual frameworks for both U.S.
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